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Thursday, August 14, 2008


Renewed your UK Passport lately?



No, just me then?

Ok, just so you know, it now costs £72 pounds to renew your passport.
Yes, I did say seventy two fucking pounds sterling. That's for the privilege of having a new photo and a new 42 page book that hardly ever gets stamped any more, for doing all the administrative legwork myself via the online form that I fill in and then bizarrely have posted back out to me to sign then post back again, and for supplying my details once more that'll probably just end up in a laptop that gets left on a fucking train!

£72 pounds!

What exactly do they do for all that folding?
Does someone extensively research my background to ascertain whether I am who I claim to be? Does a man in a van with blacked-out windows snap my visage through a massive telephoto lens to compare to the £3.99 photos from Boots that I submit with my form? Or does a school leaver simply type in my details, make sure they match what they already have, and click on the button marked 'issue'.
Am I really such a cynic?


Jaggy said...


You're not a cynic, you'll believe anything.

Zen Wizard said...

In the US you pay $100 unless you need "Expedited" then I am getting it would be about $160.

If you want your photo to look like something other than the Crypt Keeper, you don't get it at the Post Office--I don't know how they do it but somehow they could make even Angelina Jolie look like a skag on that camera they have in the Post Office.

I have no idea what all goes into it--do they search your background for warrants and $H!T, or do they just paste the picture of your mug in a book and watermark it?

I have no idea...

Steve said...

Totally agree. Where exactly is the £72 going? Does the passport have a calf-skin cover with gold embossed lettering? A hand stitched spine and pages hand painted by monks at a monastery in Lindisfarne? Or am I being ripped off by a rogue secret agent called Bourne who is using a copy of my details to bomb CIA agents in NY? Now that I'd pay £72 for.

Helga Hansen said...

I guess it won't thrill you to learn that I would pay £40 for a passport, issued by the Norwegian Embassy in London, and collected by me in person from a consulate office close to where I live. All I have to do to prove who I am is fill out a form, provide them with my National ID number, enclose my old passport (which is returned to me) and turn up in person to collect.

Yes, I did say £40...

Löst Jimmy said...

Inchy, what gets me is the cost of the renewal is the same as a first passport, you would think that a renewal is less work right i.e. cheaper?
Anyway, its a closed market, not as though you are going to be able to go to another cheaper supplier like eBay haha so they'll charge what they like effectively.

Ro said...

Someone has to pay for the RFID chip embedded in there so people can keep a closer eye on you :)

Inchy said...

Jaggy - Pot/Kettle.

Zen - My last passport photo is of me 17 years ago, back when I had hair, and I've been refused entry to the Czech Republic and Denmark because it looked fuck all like me. It's good to know though that a girfiend that's prepared to vouch for you will get you in.

Steve - I believe they are made by one-armed leper orphans in a converted pig sty in southern Vietnam.

Helga - Thanks for making me feel better.

Jim - I think a letter from my mum guaranteeing that I am who I say I am is probably a lot more factually accurate than the passport that's just expired.

Ro - At last, your inner geek springs forth!

Sky Clearbrook said...

Steve and Lost Jimmy have summed it up for me. I had to get a renewal in Feb 2007 and it cost me about £66.

I genuinely thought you would have had to pay a nominal renewal fee, but the full whack was a bit a cheek. Anyway, how that fuck does it rise to £72 in the space of about 18 months?

The government/passport office employees are probably away having the holidaysof their respective lives on the proceedings. Gets.

Ro said...

Not so much my inner geek as my inner paranoid ... I'm reading all the wrong books. Can you believe I'm starting to feel like I'm being watched and monitored? How ridiculous, eh? ;^)